Jan. 26, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C.-- NC State wrestling takes to the road Friday against a tough opponent in the No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. The match will begin at 8 p.m. EST in Stillwater, Okla.
The Wolfpack enters Friday's match-up at 4-5 overall, while the Cowboys are 8-0. Oklahoma State is led by the nation's No. 1-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, 2011 NCAA champion Jordan Oliver, but Oliver is hardly a one-man show.
The Cowboys feature eight nationally ranked wrestlers -- No. 10 Jon Morrison at 125, Oliver at 133, No. 14 Josh Kindig at 141, No. 2 Jamal Parks at 149, No. 12 Albert White at 157, No. 4 Chris Perry at 174, No. 10 Blake Rosholt at 197, and No. 3 Alan Gelogaev at heavyweight.
"They're really talented and very well-coached," said Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan. "All of their guys wrestle really hard for seven minutes, and I expect our guys to chase them all over the mat."
NC State will look to build off a weekend that featured a split in duals against a pair of nationally ranked opponents, on the road. The Pack defeated No. 9 American last Friday, before falling to No. 12 Maryland on Sunday, wrestling with a high energy level in both matches. Oklahoma State defeated Arizona State on Friday and Iowa State on Sunday, handily beating both teams.
Redshirt-senior Darrius Little, ranked No. 11 nationally at 141 pounds for the Wolfpack, will take the mat against a ranked opponent on Friday for the sixth time this season and the third time in four matches. Little has a 3-2 record against ranked opponents, and is 27-9 for the season. He has recorded wins in nine out of his last 10 matches. His lone loss during the stretch was against No. 5 Mike Mangrum of Oregon State at the Southern Scuffle on January 2. Little's bout Friday will be against Kindig, ranked No. 13.
"I'm really pleased in his overall effort and toughness this season," Jordan said of Little. "There's really been a difference in his attitude and the way he's training, and it's starting to wear off on the other guys."
Following are the projected starting lineups for NC State and Oklahoma State:
NC State (4-5)
125 - Coltin Fought (21-6)
133 - Ben Elliott (1-13)
141 - #12 Darrius Little (27-9)
149 - Matt Nereim (13-10) or Thomas Gantt (12-12)
157 - Colton Palmer (12-10)
165 - Nijel Jones (18-13)
174 - Quinton Godley (24-10)
184 - Robert O'Neill (16-11)
197 - KaRonne Jones (14-17) or Harrison Honeycutt (0-4)
Hwt - Josh Davis (11-15)
Oklahoma State (7-0)
125 - #10 Jon Morrison (12-4)
133 - #1 Jordan Oliver (12-1)
141 - #14 Josh Kindig (9-5)
149 - #2 Jamal Parks (18-0)
157 - #12 Albert White (19-3)
165 - Dallas bailey (9-7)
174 - #4 Chris Perry (2-0/14-0)
184 - Chris McNeill (1-2/10-5)
197 - #10 Blake Rosholt (15-1)
Hwt - #3 Alan Gelogaev (18-1)